10 Things to know about Divorce in India

1. Divorce proceedings in India are very complicated and it is very tough to go through the proceedings for both men and women as it is a long time process especially in the contested divorce cases.

2. First of all, lawyer plays a key role for the success in the divorce proceedings and hence you need to select an experienced lawyer particularly in this subject dealt with more specific issues in the divorce laws.  Initially, he may try to settle the matter amicably between the parties and to continue their marital life together for welfare of children and family.

3. Divorce can be of two forms, contested divorce and mutual consent divorce.

4. Divorce by mutual consent can be obtained only if both parties agree to end their matrimonial relationship.  You may get divorce within one year from date of filing of the case.

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5. In contrast, divorce in contested case, i.e. if your spouse opposes for giving divorce, and gets ready to contest the case filed by you, you need to establish the grounds sought in your petition seeking divorce.  Court should get satisfy the grounds you sought and upon scrutinizing the evidence and the statements submitted by both parties, may grant divorce considering various factors like child custody, maintenance and property issues along with the main relief of divorce.  Court if not satisfied with the grounds and facts you mentioned in the Petition, can reject the Petition for divorce. Joint properties would be divided accordingly to both parties.  In these cases, it may take at least 3-4 years to get the decree of divorce.

6. Grounds available for seeking divorce are Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion, Conversion of religion, Insanity, leprosy, communicable disease, Renunciation of world for religious purpose, and not heard alive for seven years.

7. The court may grant ex-parte decree of divorce if other spouse not appeared before court even upon the effective service of summons intimating the case filed by the Petitioner seeking divorce. However, such decree can be set aside by the other spouse if he/she wants to contest the case and such Petition should be filed within 90 days from the date of decree or from the date of receipt of the decree.

8. Court may also grant interim maintenance to the Respondent wife during the divorce proceedings or at the end of the proceedings may grant a lump sum amount in the name of Alimony usually to wife and children to be paid by the Husband Petitioner.

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9. Maintenance can also be obtained by wife under Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code parallel to the divorce proceedings.  Award of maintenance would be based on following factors such as financial status of both parties, dependents, movable properties of husband

10. Child custody the most crucial aspect, courts look into the financial positions of both parties, however, minor children especially below the age of 5, are always given custody to mother and older children aged above 9 years are given custody to the parents based on the financial conditions and their parenting skills. Courts always give much importance to the welfare of child while taking decisions of child custody.  Visitation rights are available for the parent who is denied of the child custody.

By Anitha Gutti

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